St. Kitts and Nevis was one of members of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee invited to Osaka in Japan to observe how their experts prepare a detailed submission of historical sites for consideration to the World Heritage List.
Over 26th -29th May, the Federation’s Ambassador to UNESCO, H.E. Dr David Doyle, attended a series of visits and consultations in Osaka associated with Japan’s proposal to seek a listing by the prestigious World Heritage Committee of the Mozu-Furuichi-Kofun area, representing the tombs of the ancestors of the present-day Imperial royal family of Japan.
The visit encompassed guided cultural heritage visits and conferences with Japanese heritage experts to the sites of the Mozu-Furuichi-Kofun Group, representing mounded tombs of ancient Japan rulers and their clan that ruled the ancient Japanese archipelago, who pioneered between the 4th and 5thcenturies deep diplomatic relations with contemporary East Asian powers. The tombs rival in scale the pyramids of Egypt and the Chinese imperial mausolea.
The Mozu-Furuichi-Kofun site will be part of the submissions to be examined at the 43rd World Heritage Committee in July next in Azerbaijan.
St. Kitts and Nevis will be part of the examining group having been elected to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in November 2017 for a period of four years. Mr Percival Hanley, General Manager of SKN’s world heritage site, Brimstone Hill, will be amongst the 21 Committee members involved in assessing and ratifying proposed heritage sites for listing on the World Heritage register.
Ambassador Doyle was called upon to deliver a speech on behalf of the ambassadors to UNESCO invited by Japan to participate in the Osaka cultural heritage visit at a reception hosted by the Governor of Osaka, Hon. Hirofumi Yoshimura. In expressing his gratitude using the formal appreciation term, Arigatou gozaimasu, he remarked that “Japan has a commendable and deeply-ingrained level of awareness of, and solid preservation culture associated with, its cultural historical heritage. Japan has pioneered with leading-edge expertise and technology in protecting, preserving and marketing its vast cultural heritage inventory. Japan is an inspiration to other UNESCO member states seeking to emulate their high standards”.
Ambassador Doyle took note of an impressive level of organised involvement of stakeholders, especially the youth, in preserving the Mozu-Furuichi-Kofun site. In addition, early anticipation of infrastructural work in the Osaka area, enabled optimal preservation of the site by re-routing a planned major highway.
The visit also provided Ambassador Doyle with the opportunity to meet Mr Manabu Miyagawa, assistant minister and director-general for cultural affairs at the Japanese foreign ministry and Mr Ejima Yoshitaka, director-general of cultural affairs at the Osaka Prefectural Government (seen in a photo above with Ambassador Doyle)
“A truly well-organised visit that provided much by way of inspiration in St. Kitts & Nevis’ efforts to prepare its own submission to the World Heritage List, consisting of selective historical sites on the island of Nevis”, noted Ambassador Doyle
Recently-appointed Secretary General of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for UNESCO, Ms. Dorothy Warner, remarked: “As we strive to forge stronger relationships with our allies, the National Commission for UNESCO in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes opportunities like this to gain insights and share the information that can only but be beneficial to all concerned with preserving and protecting cultural heritage in St. Kitts and Nevis”